The greatest day ever is almost here and you'll see a lot of articles telling you to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated..... Good. Luck. With. That.
The day parade is basically our version of the Hunger Games and we are all just trying to survive, so here are some ways you can help yourself and others...
- Park a get away car towards the end of the parade the night before, getting a cab or Uber is basically a wash.
- If you don't have reserved seating then get there early and claim your space, do not underestimate the traffic or crowd and bring things to entertain yourself or have someone take shifts.
- Bring coolers, snacks, blankets, folding seats, whatever the heck you want.
- Make signs to get more beads, make them targeted to specific krewes, sports teams, College alumni, ect. It's hard to see anything when they parade is moving and bright signs get our attention.
- Not a lot of people think of this but bring a "reacher" or MacGyver the shit out of a swifter, because a crap ton of beads end up in trees or within reaches of the curb. Trust me.
- After the parade, feel free to buy a Parade participant a drink or a hotdog, or five. By this time, exhaustion sets in and anything helps. HELP US!!!
- If you see Krewe members waking after the parade offer them a ride (if you feel comfortable), you have no idea how far some of us have to walk to get home sometimes after the parade.
I. Just. Can'ts.
- You may not know this but we aren't allowed to throw beads before the start of the parade, which is south of Bay to Bay. So don't set your kids up for failure by sitting south of Bay to Bay.
- DO NOT under any circumstance let your child or anyone (adults included) try to reach over the baracade and try to take something from participants. Yes, this happens. And it shouldn't.
- If you see anyone throwing things back at the parade participants, feel free to yell at them. Like, REALLY, YELL. AT. THEM. Parade participants are volunteers and some people do actually throw things back and surprise, people get hurt. You have my full approval to throat punch someone you see that is throwing items back at the parade.
- Baracades have fallen over. Fact.
- STAY AWAY from Willow and Bayshore. For the last 40 years this is where the high schoolers have been meeting up to have their Krumpin Battles. Like I'm not kidding. And if I get one comment from you guys saying I outed you.. I. Just. Can't.
- Keep your knockers locked up, if I want to see em, I'll pay for em. Especially be mindful if you're around children.
***Please note, we do not recommend the Gasparilla Day parade for children. If you have children under 12, prepare to arrive early or buy tickets for the children's parade, there's activities, vendors, the same amount of beads and amazing fireworks at night*****
Hopefully this helps empower you to help make this the best year ever! So have fun, watch out for one another and remember, we are all from the same Cigar City.
YOU can help us continue this tradition for all parades and make it safe for years to come!!!
C. & G.